5 years ago today I was celebrating Mid-Winter at the South Pole. I wintered-over at South Pole and from mid-February to November 1st there were no planes in or out of the Pole and for most of that time we were in complete darkness. 75 of us living, working, playing, eating and doing everything else that you can possibly do at the South Pole in basically one big building with really tight living quarters.
It was an amazing experience in so many ways. But in many ways, it cripples your life. You can't do any of the things you want to do. Something as simple as having a fresh piece of fruit or taking a 10 minute shower is not to be had for months and months on end. 75 people is not a lot of people to socialize with over the course of 9 months, especially when so many of those 75 people didn't get along. August brings the 'mean season' as people become irritable, cranky and in some cases stop talking to others. There's so much that I missed- plants, smells, fresh food, walking outdoors, and too many other things to mention.
I wouldn't change my Winter experience at the Pole for anything, but every year now at Solstice, it does make me thankful that I'm back to living in the real world with it's colorful, fragrant, magical life and multitude of options for living.
So, Happy Mid-Winter Polies, but I'm glad it's you and not me this year...